Hot Young Engineers!

A Filipino Engineer And His Desire To Travel The World – Through Engineering

Written by Elena Doncheva | Hot Young Engineers! | Thursday 29th May 2014 15:30:00 GMT

Dan Manaig, a metallurgical engineer, is on a constant journey around the world. He explains how engineering inspired him to take on charity work in the most remote of places.

Engineering graduate Dan Manaig during one of his many international adventures

Engineering graduate Dan Manaig during one of his many international adventures

While interviewing engineers we often meet extraordinary people with desires to change and improve the world – but Dan Manaig, a metallurgical engineer, is a lot more than his degree and career reveal.

His wanderlust has taken him on many adventures around the globe, the last one being here in Europe.

Finishing his Master’s degree (Georesources) in France and Belgium, via the EU’s Erasmus Mundus programme, he has the knowledge and opportunity to compare the education in his home country, the Philippines, to the universities here on the old continent.

“What I miss is the hectic schedule when all requirements of the subjects are combined, plus the co-curricular works I have to accomplish,” Dan explains.

Hard work has never scared him, even in his teenage years. A normal high school graduate, Dan was not absolutely sure which path to choose.

“Everyone applied for the conventional ones like chemical, mechanical and civil engineering, and at that time I realized that in the future I would have to compete with all of them,” he jokes.

“Then I found myself stumbling upon the metallurgical engineering degree – because of the length of its name and not everyone was showing interest in it.”

He continues: “It is definitely an interdisciplinary degree of geology, chemistry, mineral processing and material science engineering. From there, given the mineral abundance of my country, the Philippines, and the possibilities to travel the world, I had decided [to enrol].”

His desire to travel enabled him to take part in the JENESYS (Japan-East Asia Network of Exchange for Students and Youths) programme, which aims to strengthen the bond between these countries.

“Before I applied, I had executive positions in provincial and ethno-linguistic organizations in my university, wherein we organized voluntary work, environmental conferences and national high school competitions,” Dan says.

“When I got in, we were named as Tohoku goodwill ambassadors who would provide warmth and strength to those devastated by the great tsunami experienced by the Japanese people in 2011. We visited the affected areas, listened to the stories of the survivors and home-stayed with them,” he adds.

“We were overwhelmed with their hospitality and ability to smile and still work despite the recent unfortunate events. And on one occasion I gave a speech describing how the Japanese managed to survive, emphasizing their resilience and bravery and how inspired and moved we were because of them.”

Dan's desire for knowledge transforms his life in a continuous adventure all around the globe. The world for him is an unexplored opportunity to constantly evolve yourself – as both a professional and a human being.

He finished his interview with the words "never be afraid of everything, and never stop dreaming", and we believe that he will manage to encourage others just the way he has inspired us.  

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